Who knew that a child labeled “Reluctant Reader” would grow up to write and publish dozens of books for children? Yeah, that’s me.
I was born in Killeen, Texas on a cold January day in 1954. My family moved around a lot, allowing me to, over the years, live on a farm, in a historic home and always near rivers or bayous. My playthings were hula-hoops, old typewriters and a wooden leg named Charlie. (Yep, you read that right.) If you want a true glimpse of my childhood dreams, read my novel, Man in the Moon. The character Janine allows you inside my young mixed-up mind.
Since I grew up among tall tales and family stories, storytelling is in my blood. I’ve entertained at numerous schools, libraries, museums and festivals since 1993. I especially take pride in my vast collection of original stories and folk tales, and specialize in “participation” stories, allowing my audience to join in the fun.
I’ve lived most of my life in Houston and still live there today. You’ll find me here reading, writing and smiling.
The family get-togethers. I come from a musical family, so all our holidays were like jam sessions. And there were plenty of antics as well. My parents and most of my siblings have passed on now. It’ll never be the same.
What is the best part of writing?
The fun of creating.
The agony of creating.
What specific thing have you done that impressed yourself?
I’m always impressed when I get a book published. And when I read a few pages and think, Wow, I wrote this?
Can you share a nugget of writing wisdom?
I could share lots of nuggets, but it seems most authors learn from writing, rewriting and making mistakes. Experience is everything.
If you could pick one fictional character to meet, who would it be?
Victor Frankenstein. I might help him dig a few graves. But unlike him, I wouldn’t abandon the creature.
Do you keep a writing journal?
No, but I have notebooks jam-packed with thoughts, snippets of dialogue, and choppy ideas. One day someone might read it, piece it together and discover my biography.
What is your passion?
What I do every day…write.
Coffee or Tea?
When are you the most productive?
Time of day – afternoon. Amount of writing – when I’m on deadline.
Daily word count?
Varies. Sometimes my muse doesn’t like me.
If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, what would it be?
As a teenager, what was your favorite musical group?
The Beatles. Paul McCartney was my first celebrity crush.
If you had to lose one of your five senses, which one of them would you prefer to lose and why?
Smell. I’d eat healthier.
Is there a story behind your name?
It’s accidental, but my real name is Dorothy Gail. At school, kids always asked me where Toto was.